Reservoir levels down to 15%; rain recovery awaited

The water level in 91 reservoirs across the country is dropping to alarming levels as the monsoon labours towards central and western India.

The Central Water Commission said the level in reservoirs was around 15 per cent of their total live storage capacity. The level had dipped to below nine per cent of the live storage capacity during the 2009 drought.

In Maharashtra's Koyna dam, 5 billion cubic feet of water is available for irrigation and power generation, PTI reported. The dam holds 12.47 billion cubic ft of water, of which 7.35 billion cubic ft is dead stock and cannot be used.

The monsoon is expected to make a recovery in the second half of June, bridging much of the shortfall. The heat wave is also expected to subside with pre-monsoon showers in north and central India. Rain in the first fortnight of June was 25 per cent below normal due to a delayed monsoon entry and slow progress thereafter. Jatin Singh, chief executive officer of weather forecasting agency Skymet said in his latest blog post the monsoon might revive next week. Officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), too, expect rainfall to revive from June 15.

The IMD and Skymet have predicted above normal rain this year, with a strong possibility of it being heavy during the second half of the June-September season.

Punjab and Haryana received the season's first pre-monsoon showers on Thursday, causing the temperature to dip. There was rainfall in Ambala, Karnal, Panchkula, Hisar, Yamunanagar and Kurukshetra in Haryana and Ludhiana, Ropar, Phagwara, Mohali and Hoshiarpur in Punjab.

Experts and officials said the eight-10 day delay in the arrival of the monsoon should not cause a big shortfall in sowing of kharif crops.

"Sowing takes place only if the temperature falls below 35 degrees, which is why we have issued advisories in some regions to wait for the rain," said K K Singh, director of the agromet division in IMD.

He said the monsoon would reach Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Vidarbha and Telangana by June 24 and cover most parts of India by June 30, except Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.

WAIT IS NOT OVER YET

  • Rainfall in the first fortnight of June was 25% below normal due to a delayed monsoon entry and slow progress thereafter

     
  • The monsoon is expected to make a recovery in the second half of June, bridging much of the shortfall

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel